Sheephive - an Unconventional Sheep Shelter




About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (41 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

Following on from making "The Playhive" for my goats, I decided that a larger version would make an unconventional shelter in

one of my sheep paddocks.

Link to "Goathive"

Again I used the general idea from playscapes for their Playhive, but made a few adaptations

All the timber was salvaged from buiders skips and I used about 8kg of nails

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Step 1: The Wood

Once again I went to my ginagerous pile of recycled wood that I have liberated from skips over the last few weeks.

TBH it is high time I used some of it as it is starting to take over

Step 2: Tools

For marking out I used a nail and string (or wire) some cheap paint, a large protractor and a length of wood.

The design is going to be three interlocking 6 foot diameter circles (sort of shamrock shape)

Started off drawing one 6ft circle, which I then divided into 3 equal parts, these were then used as centres to draw the 3 interlocking circles. (I will put up a sketch when I get use of a scanner)

Ther tools during construction were a hammer and saw (I used a chop saw mainly)

Step 3: Layout

I layed out the bottom layer of blosks (12 to each circle)

These are 12 inches (30cm) long pieces of 4x2

The middle ones are in there just for positioning and will be removed once I start building.

Basically they are 30degrees apart around each circle, although there is a bit of "by eye" adjustment

Step 4: The First Few Layers

The second layer was offset across the gaps of layer 1 and nailed into position, ditto layer 3 etc

As you can see I have left 3 gaps as entrys, there are small 4x4 blocks to build up the jamb

All the blocks are 12 inches until I get to the top of the entrys

The build site btw is about 400m from the nearest electrical socket so all the pieces are cut up by the house and wheelbarrowed down

Step 5: Door Jambs

I cut 3 longer pieces of 8x2 as door top lintels (approx 1m long but "to fit" as required) This ensured a nice solid foundation for the higher layers

Step 6: Tapering In

After about 15 layers I started tapering in by using smaller blocks

Firstly a couple of layers of 11 inch, then 10 inch ,9,8,7 etc

Basically when you are able to adequately span the gap with a smaller block you reduce size

Now in the original instructions there are a bunch of templates you can use for this, but it is very time consuming and easier to do by eye

I did have to "wing it" a bit on the "indents" where the circles meet as each piece in there becomes longer or differently shaped

Step 7: Roof

You can carry on building up and into a point if you wish

I decided to put a roof on

I used 6x2s as a triangular frame from above each door and a second smaller triangle on top between each "indent"

I then panelled out with decking timber

The curved gaps at the edges are intentional, (and easier!)

Step 8: From Inside

People have said "is it draughty?"

Well the shape breaks up the wind, so it is quite cosy but airy

... and sheep smell so it keeps it fresh in there

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017



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    9 Discussions


    Reply 9 months ago

    "My sheep have no nose!" "How does he smell?" "Awful!!" ;-)


    2 years ago

    cool! this is the kind of thing I'd like in my garden as an afternoon napping cave. Cosy and airy, dappled light- good place to sneak away to.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hadn't thought of that, I usually just disappear upstairs in my shed!


    Reply 2 years ago

    Maybe with all those gaps I should call it a "Holey Shurt" ;-)


    2 years ago

    Unless I missed it, how did you attach wood to each other. I am assuming nails, but you didn't say. And if you didn't use anything, I can see in coming down with a little hit. JMHO

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    My bad, have edited it - yes, nails, lots of them (8 kg +) TBH I was going to try thr power of positive thinking but shee are no respecters of that!